By Ray Hamill — The first of this year’s Logger ESPYs were handed out on Monday, with seniors Josiah Graham and Sophia Chalmers named Most Inspirational Athletes.
The annual awards, which are voted on by senior student athletes and coaches, feature a different format this year because of COVID-19 and will be handed over a nine-day period instead of on one night, with separate awards each day.
Chalmers led the way on the Eureka girls basketball team, playing a key role all season long, including the Loggers’ dramatic comeback in the final minute of the Dick Niclai championship.
Graham was a three-sport athlete, playing basketball, baseball and football, and earning an all-league honorable mention in the latter.
“It means a lot to me,” Graham told Humboldt Sports after receiving the award. “I always try to lead by example and push myself and others to be the best they can.”
Graham, who will play football at Shasta College this fall, was particularly inspirational on the football field, regularly lifting his teammates on the sideline and making numerous big plays at receiver.
“Josiah played with passion and intensity,” the school announced with the award. “He would insist that his teammates do the same each day in practice and for every game. His smile and spirit are contagious — he has a way to lift all those around him up!”
Chalmers was just as inspirational for the Eureka girls.
“Sophia Chalmers in many ways was the face and leader of our team,” head coach Michael Harvey said. “She led by example through an excellent work ethic at practice, a positive attitude with coaches and fellow players, and the competitive desire for her team to be the best we can be.
“She was kind and compassionate with teammates inspiring them to do their best. She is both a beautiful person inside and out.”
Miles Meynell, who play football at UC Davis in the fall, and Jaeden Thayer were named runners-up for the boys.
Brianna Day, who will play softball at Shasta next year, and Kellina Pratton, a standout in soccer and basketball, were runners-up for the girls.
The Logger ESPYs will continue on Tuesday with the Best Male and Female Individual Performances of the year.